Friday, September 30, 2011

Inspirational travels...

The Acropolis Museum

In August I travelled with my husband and my children to visit family in Greece. We spent some relaxing time in the village of Kato Melpeia, in Peloponnesus (southern mainland) and by the sea as often as we could and while in Athens we also visited The Acropolis Museum. This new and modern building was completed in 2007 and aside from the amazing collection it has on display, it is also an architectural masterpiece designed to capture natural light that is distributed on 3 floors. The entrance area outside and inside has a transparent floor showcasing the ruins of a settlement dating from Archaic to Early Christian Athens over which the museum has been built. It has a spectacular view of the Acropolis hill where the Parthenon stands and it is located along the very beautiful Dionysiou Aeropagitou street, just south of the Acropolis. There is something special in the air around the Acropolis that I feel whenever I visit...a surprising sort of rejuvenating energy...I hope I can visit again soon

The world of Antonio Gaudi

We made a short 4-day stop to visit Barcelona on our way back home to Montreal. My daughter is a big fan of Antonio Gaudi's work (a famous modernist Catalan architect). We were also curious to find out more about this city that has intrigued so many people to visit. Well it was quite a treat on all levels except that there was simply too much to see and 4 days were really not enough. We did however manage to see many of Antonio Gaudi’s masterpieces, The Picasso Museum, The Chocolate Museum and several monuments and churches.  I have no words to describe how beautiful and abundantly spacious this city is. We were truly amazed by all the styles of architecture...especially the buildings and parks designed by Gaudi - the uniqueness of being inside the places he has created transports you and you feel as if you are in a dreamworld

...below are some photos of the famous Casa Batllo, the mansion that Gaudi 
re-designed for Josep Batllo and his family...they actually lived fun!

...can't wait to get started on some new work soon...

Inspirational work...

In May I began working as a volunteer at The Montreal Children's Library-Atwater Branch...Why?...because it's fun!...and inspiring...and because I have access to an endless supply of children’s books to read and observe the marvelous art in them. I get to meet new people, including children of all ages who come to the library and I also get to see Elizabeth Macdonnell, in action, telling stories to tiny tots and preschoolers. I am learning so much from her about children literature. Elizabeth is an exceptional librarian and storyteller. She also devotes a lot of time to the library’s Outreach Story Program going to hospitals, schools and organizations, reading and telling stories to children with special needs. Even though I’ve only been there for a short while, being at the library once a week has enriched my creative life as an emerging illustrator in the children's book industry and I look forward continuing my volunteer work there...

you can also click on the link below to see Elizabeth tell a story about a very confused monkey...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

cast shadows...

I had started working on an illustration inspired by a previous IF theme "shadows" and I wanted to use Photoshop to create cast shadows for the the clover leaf and the tiny ant hiding underneath it ...however making a cast shadow of the ant is slightly more complicated...when I figure it out, I'll post the revised illustration

detail of ant...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Creative Children

It's been too long since my last post but somehow spring is a very busy time for us every year. Not only is it time to clean up and set up outside for flowers and outdoor living, it’s also Easter time, tax time and in our family, birthday time as well…we celebrate about 6 birthdays between our 2 families April to May which is always fun and high in calories too.

This year our very creative children, Eleni and Kosta who have been influenced by the power of storytelling throughout their lives were also very busy hosting some special artistic events.

Eleni has always loved drawing and crafts but has also worked for several years as a summer camp monitor in theatre in between her cegep and university courses. Although her goal is to work with children who have special needs, she is also very passionate about theatre and the benefits it offers for personal development. Two years ago, she got together with 2 other theatre colleagues from summer camp and created D.R.E.A.M. Theatre which offers theatre workshops to children and teenagers during the school year on week-ends. This years’ production, La Vie en Rosalie was about a frustrated teenage girl faced with bullying at school when one day she bumps her head and then finds herself in a strange place with trolls, evil queens, an exiled prince and other strange characters. Her adventures in this strange place lead her to finding her own self-confidence and courage to face intimidation. Among many other things, Eleni hand made costumes and props for this production including the beautiful paper crowns she hand-cut and embellished and she also designed the poster.

Kosta has been a gifted illustrator all his life and now has big plans for a future in animated film. He has just completed the first ever program of  3D Animation and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) at Dawson College. It has been an exceptional experience for him because of the opportunity he had to learn from teachers who are also industry professionals and to evolve creatively with the other extremely talented students in his class. The final project for this program was to develop an animated short and at the end of the program the students organized a very professional presentation of their films and an exhibition of their portfolios at Dawson College to various guests from film and game studios from Montreal and abroad. All the proud parents and friends were invited to a presentation as well. Kosta’s animated short was about a baby snow monkey (shown below) and his adventures with his big brother. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Just had a shot at this weeks IF theme...Duet...inspired by the robins
that have returned to my back yard. As I watched them hopping around, I
thought, what if they just practiced birdsong on a branch once in a while...?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Welcome to my first ever blog...a place where I will share my thoughts, sketches and portfolio work on my journey as an illustrator. I look forward to creating artwork for children's literature and other publications and products too. I am presently working on an educational book for a math teacher who is self-publishing. Looking forward to seeing it in print towards the end of this year.

I am a big fan of the famous collage artists of the 1960's (my childhood era) who illustrated magnificent children's books including Ezra Jack Keats, Leo Lionni, Eric Carle and Lois Elhert to name only a few. I also love the simple and evocative character design of Tomie DePaola. Right now I am exploring coloured pencil combined with watercolour and digital media. I am trying to use coloured pencil in an untraditional, colourful graphic style with textures. I really like the results I am getting but I still have much more to learn and discover.

I was inspired by this week's theme "Cultivate" on Illustration Friday for the illustration of my first is Spring and I love tulips. (Can you tell I love flowers?) Tulips signal that spring is here and longer warmer days are just around the corner. Their simple shape and glorious colors make any garden or flower pot look spectacular!

Just like cultivating a garden, cultivating drawing and painting skills requires many hours of hard work with no guarantees of success in the beginning. It is an ongoing and lifelong process for every artist but I believe that after a lot of practice and a little bit of courage, our work shines and then we realise that every step in the process was important and significant. “We learn by doing” said what I will be doing is posting weekly with a sketch or illustration on my blog based on personal themes or inspired by other sources. (I will, I promise) Hope you will drop by and have a look.